I will be trekking on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. The trek begins on May 4 and we arrive at Machu Picchu on May 7. The Inca Trail permit includes entry to Machu Picchu for May 7, so that is already taken care of.
Since I will be staying in Aguas Calientes until May 10, I planned to visit Machu Picchu again on the 8th or 9th (or both days) and climb Huayna Picchu one of those days.
I am also interested in hiking up Machu Picchu Mountain, but I am told I will see the same view on the Inca Trail.
There is also the concern I have about what if I am too exhausted to do all that after 4 days of trekking on the Inca Trail above 10,000 ft! I blew off Kala Patthar on the EBC trek because I was so sick and exhausted the day after I arrived at Base Camp. Just the thought of climbing up any more rock piles at EBC was enough for tears to swell up, which is what I had to do to get to the Everest ER (one hour torturous walk!).
I regret missing out on the spectacular view of Mt. Everest from the summit, but I know it was beyond my physical boundaries that day. I will definitely be more in shape for this trek, but I still am not sure how much climbing I will be able to handle.
All entry tickets to Machu Picchu have to be purchased in advance, no tickets are sold at the door. The permits are limited to 2500 people per day, and often sell out weeks or months in advance (depending on the time of year).
June – September are the peak tourist months, but May is also very popular because the rainy season pretty much ends by the end of April.
Since I want to also climb Huayna Picchu, I have to plan way ahead because they only allow 200 permits for each time slot and I was told it will likely be sold out if I wait much longer.
Last week I looked at the available permits for May 8th and 9th and there were about 100 still available for each day in the second shift (10am-11am). I do not want the 7am slot because I would have to get in line for the bus around 3am to be sure I get on the earliest shuttle bus (um, no thanks!).
I figured I didn’t have to rush to get the tickets with that many still available.
Well, I checked the website today and yikes! There are ZERO permits available on May 8, and only 22 left for May 9!
I was not expecting that!
I put in my information to request the ticket and permits for May 9, second time slot for Huayna and 6am – 12pm for Machu Picchu. Whew!
Department of Redundancy Department … I am glad that was a successful success ?
I guess May 8 just became a rest day for me after 4 days on the Inca Trail! Probably not a bad idea anyway.
Here is a description of Huayna Picchu, and some pictures, which makes it quite obvious why I don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to climb it while I am there.